When he stepped off the stage of the world famous Scribble Jam Battle (proving grounds for such rappers as: eminem, slug, and sage francis), Astronautalis knew it was time for a change. After spending the last 8 years as a well-respected battle rapper, and rising from lunchrooms to concert halls, the thrill was gone. His famous freestyle skill was all there, but the creative void was no longer filled by the braggadocio and machismo of the battle circuit, he needed something more.
On the long ride home from Cincinnati to Dallas, his headphones full of outlaw country and ‘shoegazer’ rock, he began to shape his new path, and pen the words of the new Astronautalis. Blending styles of indie rock, electro, and talkin’ blues into hip-hop, this rapper has developed a sound like no other. He traded in his verbal weapons of mass destruction for songs about the railroad, lost love, and surreal dreams of sharing doughnuts with tupac and grapes with fat joe. His music has become an amalgam of synthesizers, old funk drum samples, and what can only be classified as ‘an unnatural obsession’ with slide guitar. Making the audience question, ‘is this rap?’
His live show is a theatrical mix of music and performance art, a lecture and stand up comedy, audience guided freestyles and well crafted songs. A show that has shared the stage with everyone from A Tribe Called Quest to The Polyphonic Spree, and taken Astronautalis all the way from the back porch at a 30 year-old texas Bar-B-Que to the Van’s Warped Tour, and all points in between. It makes you wonder how a bow-legged, colorblind suburbanite with a mohawk could ever learn to rap like this.
“What other MC do you know who’s as well versed in Modest Mouse as he is in MF Doom? Astronautalis’ rhymes are brilliant, but his DIY background and work ethic separate him from the pack of ironic white rappers.” – ALTERNATIVE PRESS